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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Andy Marte

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 10/21/83, Age: 18, Bats/Throws: R/R, Height: 6’1’’, Weight: 185. Acquired: Braves - Signed as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in September of 2000. 2001 Stats: (Rookie - Danville) .200 AVG, 125 AB, 6 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 SB, 20 BB, 45 K, .310 OBP, .272 SLG. 2002 Stats: (Low-A - Macon) .281 AVG, 484 AB, 32 2B, 4 3B, 21 HR, 2 SB, 41 BB, 112 K, .340 OBP, .494 SLG.

Andy Marte is the "nom du jour" at the top of the list among the more recently discovered third-base prospects. A Dominican signee just two short years ago, Marte has been tearing the cover off of the ball in the Sally League most of this season. He is second in the league in homers, first in RBIs, and second in extra-base hits this season for Macon, and has frequently shown off his best attribute: a quick line-drive batting stroke. The ball most definitely does jump off his bat a little more than with most eighteen year olds, and his level swing generates doubles, triples, and homers to all fields. Every statement regarding his plate discipline seems to be prefaced by the words "for his age," which means that it is subpar on the whole, but not decidedly so. He could be 14, however, and would still need to cut back on his 112-and-counting punchout figure for the year. Like most kids, he is still very susceptible to a decent breaking pitch, so his next series of hitting adjustments will need to be geared toward fixing that. On the bases, Marte has barely average speed, which can only be expected to get worse as he matures. It will end up being a weakness in his overall game, I imagine. Defensively, Marte is fairly polished for a young third baseman, but does not possess an above average arm. He has decent range and good hands, so he will likely remain at the hot corner, especially since the Braves have a fairly sizable hole there in their organization. For a youngster in a pitching-dominant league in low-A ball, Marte has shown a great deal of promise in his first full season this year, in both baseball skills and in the social aspect of life in America. In Rookie ball, Marte could barely speak any English at all, and much of his poor performance was blamed on "culture shock." Apparently, he has made great strides in acclimating himself to minor league ball this year, which gives us all another reason to discount his Rookie-level statistics.

The Braves have been a perennial contender for a decade now, but opportunities for young players to step right in and produce have still been prevalent. Currently, the Braves are weakest at the positions that are easiest to fill, those being first base and third base. Marte has a fairly clear path through the system, unless the organization decides that they have to find a way to play Furcal, Giles, Betemit, and Kelly Johnson in the future at the expense of someone like Marte, which is not very likely. At this point, I would say that Andy Marte could be Vinny Castilla without the Coors field effect, which is, of course, a very valuable third baseman. Keep in mind, however, that Marte has exactly one season of good performance in a pitchers’ league at low-A under his belt, so there is a long way to go. With hitting prospects, though, one of the most important factors is opportunity. Marte has that, so he is a step ahead of most players at this stage of his career.


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